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Blizzard On The Rise?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Those "in the know", have skied Blizzards for years and sung their praise.

Suddenly, Blizzard appears to be hot. Pre-season reviews, and comments here on Epic, shower widespread praise upon the brand.

I still don't see Blizzard in many local CO shops. But, with the recent surge of attention, perhaps Blizzard's star is on the rise.

I'd love to try the 8.7 Magnum.
post #2 of 50
I think once it was made news that Bode was testing Blizzards, they got a new found respect from those not in the know....such as myself. My local store had them and I thought...what an obvious name....must be crap. But I hear good things about their skis from the guys on the NASTAR forums.
post #3 of 50
Blizzard isn't on the rise, Blizzard is Risen!
Been skiing them a couple years and couldn't be happier.

UP Racer switched from Volkl to Blizzard a couple years ago, both for his racing and his all mountain selections. Their SL Rocks!!

If you can get a pair to demo you'll be amazed at the construction.
post #4 of 50
I heard Nordica bought their factory over in Europe. Does anyone know if that is true? Maybe, they'll rent space back from new owner Nordica and continue the great product. I look forward to finding a Blizzard demo this season and trying out their skis!
post #5 of 50
Yes, the Tecnica Group, which also owns Nordica and Dolomite, now owns Bilzzard as well.

As best I can remember, ski companies break down as follows. Some of these may be wrong:

Tecnica Group
Tecnica
Nordica
Blizzard
Dolomite

Jarden Corp (also owns outdoor apparel brands)
K2
Volkl (has distribution alliance with Tecnica)
Marker

Amer Sports (also owns assets in golf, tennis, fishing gear)
Atomic
Salomon
Dynamic
Volant

HTM
Head
Tyrolia

Quiksilver (offer received for Rossignol in August)
Rossignol
Dynastar
Lange

Major Indies
Fischer
Elan (has had alliances with Tecnica Group in past)
Stoekli (has binding alliance with Vist)
post #6 of 50
I started skiing them when they were with Dalbello. I got my first pair on a whim because it seemed like a great git in my quiver, they were Titan Nines (120/86/109) in a 181, I was blown away by the way the ski skied and picked up not one but two pair of Mag SL's. The Mag was a great ski too. My only concern with the Titan was the quality control. The top skins peeled off and the edges pulled away from the ski, other than that, they skied great. Doing some research on TGR I was not the only one who had these issues. I skied the new Cronos, the evolution of the Nine and was unimpressed with the ski, it wasn't nearly as powerful as the Nine was. I did get Lola a pair of Eos's and she does seem to like them. Looks like the new evolution of the IQ binding is better, the original version with the Geze toe was a bit lacking.

Two-three years ago, it was not uncommon to over hear in the lift line "Blizzard...I didn't know they still made skis".
post #7 of 50
What is the correct way to pronounce "Blizzard"? "Blizzerd" or "Blizzard"?
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsman View Post
What is the correct way to pronounce "Blizzard"? "Blizzerd" or "Blizzard"?
Blizzard or Buzzard.
post #9 of 50
ski company demo videos pronouce it just like you say snow event or the Dairy Queen tasty mixture

Very interesting ski's
post #10 of 50
it is presumptuous of me to disagree with Phil on the subject of Blizzard, BUT- having pronounced the name BlizzARd since sometimes in the early 1970's, I was surprised last year to hear their race ski rep pronounce it BlizzERd (like the snow storm). Indeed, when you call them that is how the receptionist and all other employees seem to pronounce it here in 2008.

I have not changed my ways yet, but the kids we know who are sponsored by them are firmly in the BlizzERd camp, thus I may be forced to capitulate.

Oh Yea- The SL skis are incredible. Last year's GS ski was very straight and very stiff- not loved by many (OK, sort of like sking GS on shortened SG skies). This year's GS ski has all of the legal sidecut and seems to be a little more subtle. I know racers who demo'd them and are much happier than last year, but I have not ridden them yet. If they get them dialed in like the SL ski they will be a force to be reckoned with-
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
I still don't see Blizzard in many local CO shops. But, with the recent surge of attention, perhaps Blizzard's star is on the rise.

I'd love to try the 8.7 Magnum.
Blizzard's star is very much on the rise. From my understanding, they have always been popular in Europe, but have had weak U.S. distribution. The new distributor "Blizzard Sport USA," now owned by the Tecnica group, is committed to making Blizzard a top U.S. brand.

I can't wait to try the 8.7 either! By all accounts, it's amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
Blizzard isn't on the rise, Blizzard is Risen!
Been skiing them a couple years and couldn't be happier.

UP Racer switched from Volkl to Blizzard a couple years ago, both for his racing and his all mountain selections. Their SL Rocks!!

If you can get a pair to demo you'll be amazed at the construction.
All very true. I never thought I'd switch from Volkl, but I really believe that Blizzard now makes a better product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
I heard Nordica bought their factory over in Europe. Does anyone know if that is true? Maybe, they'll rent space back from new owner Nordica and continue the great product. I look forward to finding a Blizzard demo this season and trying out their skis!
Nordica doesn't own Blizzard. Tecnica owns Blizzard AND Nordica. Both Blizzard and Nordica skis will be built in the Blizzard factory now. In the past, Nordica outsourced their ski production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Yes, the Tecnica Group, which also owns Nordica and Dolomite, now owns Bilzzard as well.
Correct. Although I'm not so sure about the distribution/marketing agreement between Volkl and Tecnica now..... I think that may be over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsman View Post
What is the correct way to pronounce "Blizzard"? "Blizzerd" or "Blizzard"?
Blizzard Sport USA has decided that the official U.S. pronunciation will be just like it is spelled. BLIZZ-erd. Just like the snowstorm and the DQ treat.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer View Post
Oh Yea- The SL skis are incredible. Last year's GS ski was very straight and very stiff- not loved by many (OK, sort of like sking GS on shortened SG skies). This year's GS ski has all of the legal sidecut and seems to be a little more subtle. I know racers who demo'd them and are much happier than last year, but I have not ridden them yet. If they get them dialed in like the SL ski they will be a force to be reckoned with-
Re: the GS ski... It depends who you ask... It took me half the season to get used to it, but now, it is the most incredible GS ski I've ever been on! The problem is, it is a full blown world cup ski. You have to have a solid, solid race technique to get the most out of that race stock GS, but if you can do it right, there is nothing like it!

...and you are right, the SL is amazing.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
From my understanding, they have always been popular in Europe
Honestly, I haven't seen the brand around much at all, not even in Austria (though obviously more there than here). Looking forward to them being more available here thanks to the Tecnica link (Tecnica is a really strong brand in Italy).
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Honestly, I haven't seen the brand around much at all, not even in Austria (though obviously more there than here). Looking forward to them being more available here thanks to the Tecnica link (Tecnica is a really strong brand in Italy).
Huh. Interesting.

Like I said, that's just what I've heard.... Unfortunately I've never skied Europe.

Did you start to notice more last season?
post #14 of 50
Not really, but come to think of it, I didn't get around much last year. Skied my own hill and that was it.
post #15 of 50
IMO they feel and handle like we wish Volkls still did.
post #16 of 50
There is a review of the Volkl P60/MagSL comparison, with me and Volklgirl.
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...light=Blizzard

More info posted on SkiDiva
http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/sho...light=Blizzard
post #17 of 50
Blizzard has always made top notch stuff at the high end but has suffered miserable distribution in the states for decades. Unfortunately for them, this takes them out of the mainstream eye for too long and makes the comeback more difficult unless they are satisfied with a niche position. From a skiability standpoint, Blizzard competes nicely with Volkl, Nordica, some Fischers and Atomics for the "Austrian feel" that some skiers crave.

The Tecnica boot brand may not have the leverage at this point to help wedge the brand in on a wide scale although that could change with the new boot lineup. Head has perhaps left a little crack in the door for Tecnica/Blizzard for the smaller tech shop that want to spin a different story than the guy down the street. For race oriented shops, I'd think it a natural.

SJ
post #18 of 50
When I heard that Tecnica had got Blizzard, the first thing I thought was..."we are going to see a Tecnica ski" being that the Tecnica name was so much stronger than Blizzard.
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
When I heard that Tecnica had got Blizzard, the first thing I thought was..."we are going to see a Tecnica ski" being that the Tecnica name was so much stronger than Blizzard.
I hear that was punted around a bit. I'm glad they didn't go there.

SJ
post #20 of 50
Thread Starter 

Demo Tent?

I wonder if Blizzard will have a demo tent early season here in CO.

Typically, the major ski shops bring all their brands to the slopes for early-season buzz.

I'd love to try a pair.

From what I've read, their rec skis offer typical, rock-solid Austrian grip and solidity, but without 2x4 stiffness.

The Volkl AC50's I just purchased seem extremely stiff (we'll see how they perform on snow).

Blizzards likely flex a bit easier - which could be better for most of us.
post #21 of 50
We have a great Blizzard guy here in Michigan. He is sure to be at any demo time he can.
post #22 of 50
Cantman used to be a WC tuner for them I believe.
post #23 of 50

Blizzard skis

FYI,

Ptex will be carrying most all the Blizzard models, and as you know his $$s are sick....

I demoed the 8.7 Magnum from him late last season at Sugar Bowl, and found it better than the demo AC50 for my weight and type of skiing...

Ptex likes this ski better than his previous AC40 and Head iM88 favorites...and that's a solid recommendation...

I believe Scott (dawgcatching) also raved about the 8.7 Magnum in one of his killer ski reviews....

I also read somewhere that several Volkl designers defected from Volkl to Blizzard, so that would support the quality of their skis...

And both the Cronus (beyond) and Argos (TGR et al.) have gotten stellar writeups, as well as great reviews from Trekchik and Philpug...
My 2 cents...

Blizzard Rising

post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfp158 View Post
FYI,

Ptex will be carrying most all the Blizzard models, and as you know his $$s are sick....

I demoed the 8.7 Magnum from him late last season at Sugar Bowl, and found it better than the demo AC50 for my weight and type of skiing...

Ptex likes this ski better than his previous AC40 and Head iM88 favorites...and that's a solid recommendation...

I believe Scott (dawgcatching) also raved about the 8.7 Magnum in one of his killer ski reviews....

I also read somewhere that several Volkl designers defected from Volkl to Blizzard, so that would support the quality of their skis...

And both the Cronus (beyond) and Argos (TGR et al.) have gotten stellar writeups, as well as great reviews from Trekchik and Philpug...
My 2 cents...

Blizzard Rising

Do you recall which size you demo'd for the 8.7's and AC50's?

Also, can you tell me your size?

How large a difference did you experience between the two?

Dawgcatching did rave about the 8.7. He also like the AC50's, but he 8.7's stole his heart. He does excellent reviews.

I also saw the comments by the other 4 posters you mentioned. Epic's an excellent leading-indicator for shop gear-buyers.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Do you recall which size you demo'd for the 8.7's and AC50's?

Also, can you tell me your size?

How large a difference did you experience between the two?

Dawgcatching did rave about the 8.7. He also like the AC50's, but he 8.7's stole his heart. He does excellent reviews.

I also saw the comments by the other 4 posters you mentioned. Epic's an excellent leading-indicator for shop gear-buyers.
Cap'n,

I tried the 8.7 magnum in 174, and the AC50n in 177..
I'm lightweight at 155#, level 8-ish, former ski instructor, older, but still aggressive, about 60%-on piste...

The AC50 felt too stiff, maybe I should have tried the 170, but generally Volkls ski short, and the 174 Blizzard felt like a longer ski (177-ish)....
On hard refrozen early am snow, the Blizzards were smoother and held the carve better, whereas the AC50 skittered around much like a Mantra with intermittent grip even at high edge angles...

As the surface softened both skis were great performers, but the Blizzards were lighter feeling and more fun, also less demanding with a bigger sweetspot and not as solid/planky as the AC50....Blizzard more like a Fischer, Volkl more like a Volkl!!

I had as much fun on the Blizzards in 6-8" crud as on my own 177 Head iM 78s which are stupid easy to ski in shallow crud...

Neither was a barrel of fun in moguls, altho again I had an easier time with the Blizzards..

These differences were not huge, and I'm guessing a heavier person might prefer the AC50...??
Both skis are super stable at speed in soft snow....

Hope this helps...

nfp
post #26 of 50
Reputable dealer west of the Mississippi?
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfp158 View Post
Cap'n,

I tried the 8.7 magnum in 174, and the AC50n in 177..
I'm lightweight at 155#, level 8-ish, former ski instructor, older, but still aggressive, about 60%-on piste...

The AC50 felt too stiff, maybe I should have tried the 170, but generally Volkls ski short, and the 174 Blizzard felt like a longer ski (177-ish)....
On hard refrozen early am snow, the Blizzards were smoother and held the carve better, whereas the AC50 skittered around much like a Mantra with intermittent grip even at high edge angles...

As the surface softened both skis were great performers, but the Blizzards were lighter feeling and more fun, also less demanding with a bigger sweetspot and not as solid/planky as the AC50....Blizzard more like a Fischer, Volkl more like a Volkl!!

I had as much fun on the Blizzards in 6-8" crud as on my own 177 Head iM 78s which are stupid easy to ski in shallow crud...

Neither was a barrel of fun in moguls, altho again I had an easier time with the Blizzards..

These differences were not huge, and I'm guessing a heavier person might prefer the AC50...??
Both skis are super stable at speed in soft snow....

Hope this helps...

nfp
Thanks! Great feedback.

Like you, I may also prefer the 8.7 over the AC50.

The AC50 is the stiffest rec ski I've flexed. I'm 6'1", 190 lbs, also level 8, and I went for the 177.

If I was 155 lbs, I doubt I could bend the thing. But, you may be stronger than me.

As you suggested, greater weight will probably aid in smoothness and continuous contact of AC50's edge.

Regardless, the 8.7 Magnum will probably appeal to a wider audience.

Finding Blizzard is still an issue. I wander into a lot of CO ski shops, and I've yet to find one with Blizzard on display. Perhaps that'll change this year with Technica's distribution muscle, aided by some great pre-season press.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Finding Blizzard is still an issue. I wander into a lot of CO ski shops, and I've yet to find one with Blizzard on display. Perhaps that'll change this year with Technica's distribution muscle, aided by some great pre-season press.
MIGHT be because many companies haven't shipped their 08-09 product yet.
post #29 of 50

Blizzard has always been a famliar brand for me..

It's only been in recent years (say the last 8 or so) that I realized what an unknown brand Blizzard was. I grew up in a small town with a few small ski areas in the vicinity and one ski shop right in town, a few other shops about a half hour away.
The only skis that small shop sold were Blizzard so many of my friends grew up skiing them. One little hick town in upstate NY has been saturated with Blizzard for many years, but good luck (until recently) finding a pair of Volkls or Heads.

I guess it just goes to show how important distribution is.
post #30 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
MIGHT be because many companies haven't shipped their 08-09 product yet.
Granted.

I was referring to last year's models.
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